English learner education: state frameworks, services, and resources

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Presented at: AAAL 2021 Virtual Conference

On Demand Webinar

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Presenters: Mathilda Reckford, Jamie Morgan, Leslie Fink

Description:  The number of English Learners enrolled in U.S. public schools has grown exponentially in recent years, leading to increased interest in best practices for serving this population. As approaches to ESL instruction vary across states, more research is needed on ESL frameworks, services, and resources around the country.

This poster presents results from a 2020 comparative analysis of ten states’ approaches to English learner education. This analysis served as one component of a research project designed to inform improvements to ESL instruction in the state of Massachusetts. It examines current trends in state ESL frameworks and supplementary resources designed to support ESL teachers, school/district leaders, and students. The poster also discusses the extent to which different standards, program models, and instructional models are used in English learner education across these states.

Data were collected from framework documents, standards, and additional educator resources published on the states’ department of education websites. Findings indicate that half of the states analyzed use some type of framework to guide ESL instruction, and these documents vary in both content and structure. While some states have additional supports for ESL educators, including standards implementation guides, online professional development opportunities, and tools for content-embedded learning, few states provide a robust and comprehensive set of resources. Approaches to ESL instruction also differ across states, including programs and teaching models used, and findings show that dual language and bilingual education are the most common types of programs offered among the states represented in this analysis.

Presenters will engage participants in a discussion of current trends and best practices in English learner education in the U.S. and the resulting implications for ESL policies and planning nationwide. Participants will be invited to share their own experiences and provide recommendations for future research.